Responding to the opening of the the United Nations Human Rights Council session on Myanmar, Transparency International Defence and Security Director Josie Stewart said:
At least US$1 billion in arms and materials to build weapons have entered Myanmar since the military coup in 2021. Not only does this point to a lax enforcement of existing arms embargoes and the insufficiency of the non-binding UN Security Council resolution in place. It also points to the role of corruption in fuelling serious human rights violations.
As the newest report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar shows, Myanmar’s arms imports are largely financed by the revenue generated by and siphoned away from state-owned mining enterprises. Offshore accounts in countries such as Singapore and Thailand held by the military junta as well as bank accounts used by arms dealers in these countries have facilitated arms deals.
Ahead of the upcoming discussions at the Human Rights Council on Myanmar, Transparency International Defence and Security urges countries to strengthen their legislation to better target the illicit financial flows that enable arms transfers to Myanmar to ensure that arms embargoes are no longer circumvented, and the junta’s capacity to commit human rights violations is curtailed.
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